Track work

Our track infrastructure teams work around the clock to maintain the rail track so trains can run safely.

Rail track is the entire structure that trains run on, including:

  • Rails – these are the lengths of steel that are welded together.
  • Sleepers – these are supports for the rails.
  • Ballast – this is the coarse stones that support the sleepers.
  • Formation – this is the foundation for the track structure.
  • Drains – these keep the formation dry and strong.

Working overnight

Overnight work is essential, especially in Auckland and Wellington metro networks, because the lines are busy during the day, and we cannot complete all track maintenance work required on weekends only.

In addition, some activities must be done at short notice for safety. We continuously monitor the track and undertake urgent repairs to ensure trains can continue to run safely. Often this work needs to take place straight away and is carried out overnight.

Our activities and machines will generate some noise and may cause some disturbance.

We apologise in advance for disturbance this may cause you.

Track 960x540
Rail cutting and welding video

Planned maintenance

Our regular track maintenance activities include:

  • Minor maintenance and repairs – keeping all track fastenings secure and drainage systems clear.
  • Destressing rail – stretching the rail to protect against track buckling during hot weather.
  • Rail repairs and welding – keeping the joined lengths of rail secure and smooth.
  • Fixing track mud spots – replacing soft formation and degraded ballast.
  • Drainage maintenance – clearing drains and culverts.
  • Track inspections – identifying any faults for repair.
  • Deploying specialist machines such as the rail grinder, tamper and ballast cleaner

A lot of this work is not particularly noisy, so we will only give advanced notice when it is going to be more disruptive, or go on for some time.

Road access to the rail corridor

We use road access in some locations to allow rail vehicles and staff to enter the rail network safely. These access points typically connect the rail corridor to a public road and it will have a locked gate. Access points can be permanent or temporary and can only be used by KiwiRail or authorised parties. They are out of bounds to the public.

Material laydown areas

Some of our work requires materials to be delivered and assembled on the rail network before planned works start. Delivering materials and completed structures in this way helps us to work efficiently and make the most of the time we can access the track for our construction works.